The Boston Bombings and the immigration debate

In the wake of this week’s events in Boston, we’ve created a storify explanation of how the bombings – and the role of the Tsarnaev brothers, as Chechen immigrants – has affected the immigration debate in the U.S.
  1. This week’s Boston bombing turned the spotlight back on immigrants, with the two suspect brothers having come from a Chechen immigrant family. Whilst the younger brother, Dzokhar, had become a citizen last September, the older, Tamerlan, had been denied citizenship by the Department of Homeland Security, when records of previous his FBI interview were discovered.After the initial flurry of news had passed, news stations began to take the immigrant angle in relation to the story, as more details about the suspects emerged. These often told the story of an immigrant journey that ‘went wrong’.
  2. Boston suspects: Immigrant dream to American nightmare…
  3. Boston suspects: An immigrant journey that went off
  4. Suspected Boston Bombers: Brothers’ Classic Immigrant Tale Emerges as Relatives Speak Out
  5. The bipartisan immigration bill currently unveiled on Thursday, (and due to come before Congress in June), collided with the revelations about the suspects. The ‘Committee of Eight’ responsible, including Republican John McCain and Democrat Chuck Schumer faced a sudden raft of protest from certain ranks of the Republican party in particular, objecting to pushing through with immigration reform in light of the suspects role as immigrants.The bill, according to The Guardian, offers a path to citizenship for undocumented migrants, (of which there are expected to be around 11 million), and to those who have been deported for non-criminal reasons and have family in the U.S.In return, a seires of steps to better secure the border with Mexico against future illegal entry are proposed.

    The bill also removes the cap on high-skilled workers, and opens a new visa category for unskilled temporary workers.

  6. Republican, Steve King, was one of the first to jump in with his objections to the immigration reform bill in light of the bombings. Here’s what twitter had to say:
  7. Rep. Steve King: “The possibility of immigrant involvement in Boston is sufficient reason to delay reform. I’m sure Latinos understand.”
  8. Steve King says immigration reform should put on hold because the person behind the Boston bombing MAY have been an immigrant here legally.
  9. Rep. Steve King: Because Boston Bombing May Have Been Done By An Immigrant, We Should Block Immigration Reform… Malax
  10. Ann Coulter wasn’t far behind:
  11. It’s too bad Suspect # 1 won’t be able to be legalized by Marco Rubio, now.
  12. Two uncles have already been interviewed. Because of chain migration, we let the whole family in, even the losers & terrorists.
  13. “Family reunification” was so important that the uncle hadn’t seen the suspects since 2005 and the parents went home.
  14. Our immigration policies are insane. Mass amnesty is not the solution.
  15. No kidding. NYT: Senator Says Boston Bombing Should Be Factor in Immigration Debate –
  16. And others within the Republican party jumped right on the bandwagon, including Senator Chuck Grassley:
  17. After Boston Bombing, #ImmigrationBill Debate Intensifies…Grassley: Don’t ‘Rush’ Immigration Bill #tcot #amnesty
  18. Just as I predicted, GOP now citing Boston suspects as reason to stop immigration reform:…
  19. Excellent post by Stanley Kurtz on how #Bostonbombing relates to new immigration bill. (via @NROcorner )
  20. The response began as satirists mocked the Republicans who had spoken out, and Schumer and McCain came out to defend their bill:
  21. #TDSBreakingNews Sen Grassley ties Boston bombings to immigration
    loopholes. He’s right: there isn’t even a fence between here and Chechnya!
  22. Schumer argued that greater legalization would make the U.S. safer by allowing the authorities to better understand and keep tabs on those who had immigrated.
  23. Schumer, Graham Battle to Save Immigration Bill After Boston Terror via @BreitbartNews~No meaningful enforcement here
  24. Schumer: Senate immigration bill would make country safer
  25. Latino Political Avenue Daily is out@ Schumer: Senate immigration bill would make country safer
  26. Republicans on twitter and elsewhere, disagreed:
  27. Schumer: Senate Immigration Bill Would Make Country Safer Translation. Never mind those Chechen terrorists
  28. Schumer: Senate immigration bill would make country safer (Are You Fu@%ing Kidding Me?)
  29. “@thehill: Schumer: Senate immigration bill would make country safer” And the lies continue.
  30. Republican Senator John McCain spoke up for the bill he had helped to shape, as did Republican Senator Lindsey Graham – both taking the same line as Schumer. The debate really exposed the two very different attitudes to immigration within the republican party – those in favour of embracing it but keeping it regulated and within the public eye by legalizing some of the large numbers of illegal immigrants, (McCain & co.) – and those in favour of a more isolationist U.S, (Coulter, King & co.)
  31. John McCain & Lindsey Graham want you to know Boston bombings won’t slow immigration reform… by @BecketAdams
  32. Many on twitter disagreed
  33. @theblaze @BecketAdams Senators John McCain & Lindsey Graham can make country safer if they resign along with all the other RINOs
  34. Senators Graham and McCain, the American people will feel safer when we have secure borders and a real law…
  35. McCain and Graham did also, however, call for Tsarnaev to be tried not in a criminal court, as a citizen, but to be held and questioned as an enemy combatant. Hmm.
  36. In statement, Lindsey Graham & John McCain call for suspect to be held as enemy combatant w/out Miranda warnings or appointment of counsel.
  37. Many on twitter disagreed with this too.
  38. Left & right-leaning national security lawyers often disagree, but there is consensus that Graham/McCain enemy combatant statement was nuts.
  39. McCain and King have got it wrong. They should trust our courts and not sacrifice the #Constitution. #ACLU…
  40. Much of this centred around the hashtags associated with the immigration bill – #tcot
  41. Fine then; If “mental health” was the focus after Newtown, then Muslims need to be the focus after Boston. #tcot #fact #lnyhbt #rootcause
  42. At the same time, on twitter and in the comment sphere, others were speaking out in defence of immigrants, with a particular appeal to America’s migrant history:
  43. And should be ashamed!! When in American history have there not been immigrants?? Trying to call these Boston Bombers “dark skinned”
  44. It is stupid and counterproductive to blame the immigrant community, or Muslims, for the Boston bombers. Stand united; side by side.
  45. Boston horror is unspeakable. Yet I’d remind my fellow citizens that immigrant strength is American strength. Last Saturday. This Saturday.
  46. In immigrant-rich Cambridge, arrest baffles locals…
  47. The press conference of the brothers’ uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, gave this line a boost:
  48. Don’t blame #immigration or #Chechnya for bombing. Watch this video of bombers’ immigrant uncle who loves #America:…
  49. Meanwhile, stories of migrants who featured prominently in the Boston Marathon, including a man who acted heroically in helping others at the finish line, began to circulate:
  50. The hero in the hat at Boston Marathon finish line: an immigrant whose son died serving in Iraq. Eat that Steve King!…
  51. Dear anti-immigrant politicians using Boston bombing to argue against reform: Boston hero, Carlos Arredondo, was once undocumented.
  52. Many began to point out the double standard of portraying the Newtown shooter as a ‘lone wolf’, but viewing the Tsarnaev brothers as representative of immigrants, Chechens, or Islam in general:
  53. Media calling #Boston “the worst terrorist attack in the United States since 2001.” Sorry, why again was gun-enabled #Newtown not terrorism?
  54. How is the Newtown killer *not* a enemy combatant/terrorist when he killed 26 people, while the Boston bombers killed three? @Twin66
  55. 3 die in Boston and RW want to change immigration laws – 20 killed in Newtown and RW vote down gun control. Go figure!
  56. @Rheo_pipo and yes! The newton case he was crazy, but now they want to blame the immigrants of cuz what happens in Boston
  57. Graham after Newtown: YOU CAN’T TOUCH THE SECOND AMENDMENT. After Boston: Some amendments are optional.
  58. The question of assimilation began to emerge as a particular theme:
  59. This pair had opportunities many immigrants envy, & they repaid us all by placing a bomb next to a child and smiling.…
  60. “A tragedy of assimilation and it’s discontents” Best piece I’ve read this AM about Boston – The New Yorker…
  61. Even if the Boston Bombers acted alone, it highlights Islam’s ability to militarize unassimilated immigrants against America. @jamestaranto
  62. No single american friend in 10 years – integration of immigrants is important. Beslan is Osetia via @washingtonpost

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